Exports of Southern Pine lumber in 2016 reached a record 688 million board feet valued at more than $413 million, according to the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA). Within that volume, exports of pressure-treated lumber also reached a record, with more than double the shipments from just five years ago.
SFPA partners with the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (SLMA) to unite the common export objectives of Southern Pine lumber producers under the Southern Pine Council (SPC) promotional banner. Working together, the associations leverage USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)-administered programs to promote exports of Southern Pine lumber. These cost-share programs, including the Foreign Market Development (FMD), Market Access Program (MAP) and Emerging Markets Program (EMP), allow the industry to reach emerging markets that were, until recently, untapped.
Exports have jumped sharply to regions targeted by SPC’s international market development efforts. Record sales were achieved in China and in emerging markets recently targeted by SPC in Southeast Asia, Central America, and South America. “Rising demand for Southern Pine lumber is undeniably linked to the industry’s efforts to introduce this species to buyers worldwide,” noted Jerry Hingle, SPC’s international consultant.